Published On: Tue, Nov 12th, 2019

Capital Punishment Costs An Economic Liability

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The United States’ stance on humanitarian rights has come under fire in recent years due to the situations in places such as Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. A consistent point of contention during these discussions is the practice of capital punishment. Many arguments have been made for using executions as a punitive measure on moralistic, deterrent, and victim’s rights levels. However, the oft forgotten aspect of the system is the cost of executing a convicted murderer and small number of executions that actually take place.

Statistics On Execution Costs

According to the Death Penalty Information Center the cost of each federal murder case where capital punishment is sought is eight times the cost of a murder case where the death penalty is not sought. Across the country, the cost of executing a convicted murder averages around $200,000 to $600,000 dollars depending on the individual appeals process, but often exceeds that amount. In Maryland a study released by the Urban Institute concluded that the state had payed 37.2 million for each of the five executions since 1978.

While these costs center on the price of litigation, it fails to take into account the cost of imprisonment which works to further inflate the price-tag on the death penalty.

Actual Executions in the United States

The U.S. Department of Justice lists 3,220 inmates as being on death row as of 2008. However, the number of executions that took place that year was 37.

There are several factors that effects whether or not an execution will take place. First, there is the necessary appeals process that works to assure that those executed have actually committed the crimes and were tried fairly. Second, is an unwillingness of states to become tangled in an execution that would bring unwanted scrutiny to the state courts. Thus, before execution, a state will make sure to have exhausted all options so as to minimize the arguments against taking that prisoner’s life.

Capital Punishment Costs An Economic Liability

The Last Western Executioner

The United States is one of the last developed nations (aside from China) that still retains the death penalty. Despite the costs of executions and the minimal usage of the measure, there are no current issues that the Supreme Court believes merits a moratorium on the practice. The measures that make capital punishment so costly and sparsely used are in place to assure the public that only the truly guilty are executed, but the benefits of this process in light of a receding economy beg the question as to the necessity of such a practice.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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